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Drink more water! If only you had a glass of water every time you heard this sage wisdom you be... hydrated!
The epitome of health advice, drinking more water can sometimes be easier said than done. Between keeping track of your water bottle, remembering to take a drink every hour, and the constant trips to the bathroom, getting your daily quota can have you feeling as though you're sinking rather than swimming.
As difficult as it seems, getting enough water every day is important when it comes to your health. Approximately 60% of the adult human body is composed of water and it is needed for every essential physiological function our bodies do every day, including:
- Regulating your internal body temperature through sweating and respiration
- Moistening tissues (ie. mouth, eyes, nose, gut lining, skin)
- Protecting the body, organs, and vital systems (ie. brain, spinal cord, fetus)
- Lubricating joints
- Regulating digestion and your poo
- Flushing waste products from the liver, lymph and kidneys
- Supporting nutrient and oxygen blood transport to cells
- Supporting hormone and neurotransmitter synthesis
While getting enough water is critical to health, many of us fail to drink enough and as a result we can become chronically dehydrated. Thirst is one obvious sign of dehydration, but if you're also experiencing headaches, chapped lips and dry skin, or if your urine appears very concentrated, it might be time to start filling your glass.
Getting 6-8 glasses (2-2.5 liters) of water a day is the foundation to your health, and while coffee, tea, flavored water, and foods still count towards your hydration, clean and pure water will always dominate.
TWEET THIS → "Clean and pure water will always dominate!"
Now, you might be saying, "I KNOW that drinking water is important, but it's the DOING that's difficult!"
Creating, as well as breaking habits can be difficult. Whenever I'm looking to break or establish a new habit I always like to start first thing in the morning by setting a positive intention for the day, which gets me closer to my goals even before I've fully opened my eyes!
Lemon water is an ideal way to start your morning with energy, hydration, and endurance, helping you set up and maintain your water healthy habit.
Simply squeeze the juice of 1/8- 1/4 wedge of lemon into a glass of room temperature or slightly cool water and you're ready to go!
Beyond hydration and habit formation, however, there are numerous reasons why lemon water is the morning routine you need to get started on.
Here are 10 benefits to starting your day off with a squeeze of citrus:
1. Gently Detoxifies:
While our detoxification organs do a pretty good job on their own when it comes to cleansing our bodies, giving them a little boost can get things working more efficiently. The acidity of lemon in the mouth and gut (not blood), stimulates gastric juices and bile flow within the digestive system, supporting the removal of toxins stored in the liver and fat cells, helping to excrete them safely.
2. Lowers Cholesterol:
Cholesterol is not inherently bad, however, having too much of the "bad" LDL type can be detrimental to those with a history of cardiovascular disease. Bile secretion from the liver and gallbladder helps to clean out the bowels by coating the lining of the colon and eliminating waste, toxins, and LDL cholesterol.
3. Promotes Weight Loss:
Many of us want to lose weight but making it happen can be as difficult as getting our daily recommended H20! Believe it or not consuming lemon water can help break down adipose tissue, aka body fat. The pectin fiber in lemons can also help cut sugar cravings and reduce appetite.
4. Energy Boost:
When I made the commitment to start getting my 6-8 glasses daily do you know what the first thing I noticed was? How much ENERGY I had!
Two common causes of fatigue are stress and iron deficiency anemia. Lemon juice targets both by nourishing the adrenal glands and aiding in iron absorption. For those with iron deficiency, taking an iron supplement or an iron-rich meal with vitamin C (which lemons provide) helps with the absorption of this mineral, getting you feeling like your energetic self again.
Drinking plenty of water helps to give a youthful look to the skin and nourishes connective tissue (tendons, ligaments, and muscles), keeping you agile and strong. The ascorbic acid and vitamin C content of lemons helps increase the speed of wound healing and injury recovery. Perhaps it's time to drink a glass from the fountain of youth!
Anti-oxidants are compounds that prevent free radical damage to the cells of our bodies. The anti-oxidant properties from lemon act to protect the body from cancer growth and carcinogens, keeping us healthy now and hopefully in the future as well!
7. Immune Booster:
Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C, which strengthens our immune system and decreases allergic reactions, phlegm accumulation, sinus congestion, and inflammation.
8. Blood sugar support:
Regulates blood sugar levels in a similar way to Metformin, the main pharmaceutical drug to control diabetes and insulin resistance.
But please note that this is NOT a replacement for Metformin or any medications. Never self-prescribe or change your medication without supervision of your medical doctor, especially not from something you've read off the internet!
9. Natural Mouthwash:
Think there's no fix for your chronic bad breath? The anti-septic properties and essential oils of lemon can combat the bacteria that contribute to bad breath. You'll be singing lemon's praises to all you meet!
10. Alkalize Your Body:
Despite its acidity, lemon juice actually has an alkalizing effect in the blood that helps to decrease inflammation in the body, linked to chronic pain, digestive issues, cancer risks and unexplained frequent illnesses. There has been a lot of hype about an alkaline diet having protective effects on the body, specifically bone health and unfortunately the research is conflicting. Read more about it here.
Getting your 6-8 glasses of water daily is an important, albeit sometimes difficult, task. Establishing a habit of drinking lemon water in the morning may be just the trick to get you drinking what you need to stay healthy, turning your body from parched desert to lush oasis. It's time to raise a glass and pucker up!
Follow Dr. Alison Chen, ND on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DrAlisonChenND